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How to Overcome 3PL Cold Storage Labeling Challenges

Leveraging Your Real Estate for In-Demand Cold Storage

The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the need for cold storage warehouse space as e-commerce grocery shopping has become more widely adopted by consumers. According to consulting firm Emergen Research, construction of cold storage space is projected to grow by 13.8% per year, reaching $18.6 billion in value by 2027.

“In the post-COVID-19 world, we are seeing a larger demand for food storage capacity across the supply chain,” said Malcolm Aitken, ID Label’s vice president of sales. “This puts third-party logistics (3PL) providers in a unique position to help manage the cold chain and meet the demands of supply chains.”

Warehouse workers in cold storage facility

With the shift to e-commerce grocery shopping, cold storage 3PLs need reliable barcode labels to support their warehouse inventory management and distribution strategies

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“If you’re labeling or relabeling a facility that’s currently operating in sub-zero temperatures, make sure the label’s adhesive is suitable for application in that environment.”

Cold storage warehouse worker scanning rack label

3 Questions to Ensure You Use the Right Cold Storage Labels

With the shift to e-commerce grocery shopping, cold storage 3PLs need reliable barcode labels to support their warehouse inventory management and distribution strategies. Answering these three questions can help overcome label challenges in a cold storage warehouse.

1. What is the service temperature of the freezer area?

In today’s cold and freezer storage warehouses, moisture and frost build-up can affect label performance and lead to failed scans.

3PLs in humid environments without any air conditioning outside of the freezer area are particularly vulnerable to labels not working in cold storage due to moisture and frost build-up.

To address this cold storage warehouse challenge, it is important to understand the service temperature of the freezer area and the overall facility environment to ensure the right labels are selected to keep operations running smoothly.

2. At what temperature will labels be applied? On what surface type?

The temperature of the surface at the time of application can have an impact on which labels should be used.

“If the 3PL facility is new and the freezer area temperature has not yet been drawn down to its service temperature, there are multiple labeling and adhesive options available,” Aitken said. “But if you’re labeling or relabeling a facility that’s currently operating in sub-zero temperatures, you’ll want to make sure the label’s adhesive is suitable for application in that environment.

ID Label’s Arctic Xtreme, for instance, is a high-performance freezer label rated for application at temperatures as low as -20F, with a service temperature of -65F.

It is also important to consider the surface on which the warehouse labels will be applied. Many adhesives will bond well with painted metal, powder coatings, plastics and other surfaces. For upright warehouse racks with “teardrop” holes, magnetic barcode labels are often the best choice.

When labels are applied, surfaces should be clean and dry, free of moisture and frost for the strongest bond possible.

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2D vertical warehouse location label

3. Should you opt for magnet or adhesive-backed location labels?

Choosing whether you should use a magnet or adhesive-backed label is another challenging factor that is based on a variety of different cold storage 3PL warehouse conditions.

Label’s constructed with pressure-sensitive film and freezer-grade adhesives – with a protective laminate coating – deliver strong performance in cold conditions. They’re resistant to moisture, chemicals and abrasions. And they can perform in temperatures as low as negative 65 degrees.

Magnetic rack labels are durable, scan reliably and are easy to install and move – especially in live facilities where the temperature has been reduced.

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The ID Label Advantage

To learn more about your 3PL cold storage label choices and to request samples for testing in your environment, contact ID Label today.

ID Label manufactures extremely durable warehouse LPN, rack and bin labels. Our materials have been tested and used in warehouse operations around the globe.

We also provide warehouse signage and turnkey nationwide installation services to provide a complete solution to our many clients who rely on us for all their warehousing needs.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

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